30 Years of Dudes on a Map
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
162 
 Thumb up
5.35
 tip
 Hide
I love Board Games, and I love Ameritrash most of all. But the games that are most likely to make my heart go pitter-pat are Dude’s on a Map (DoaM) games. It all started for me when I first played Risk at the age of fifteen. Since then 30 years have passed and I’ve played almost 30 different Dudes on a Map games.

I’m going to use a fairly expansive definition of Dudes on a Map. It is hard to nail down board game genres, and consequently to decide what is a Dude’s on a Map game. I think with a board game genre it is easiest to start with an archetype and then if a board game has enough of those features we can say it belongs to that genre. That’s always going to make things a little subjective, but that’s the best I think we can do.

To my mind a Dudes on a Map game must have Dude’s, e.g some sort of units on some sort of a map divided into spaces. That alone does not make a game a Dude’s on a Map game, because that would also fit most skirmish games and most war games. Dudes on a Map Game must have conflict between players and struggles for control of spaces. After this, it all gets a little fuzzier. The archetypal Dude’s on a map game has soldiers that are represented with little plastic units. They exclusively occupy a space on the map. A player has a whole bunch of these units. If they want to take over a space they have to move into that space and fight the other dudes in that space. Fighting is usually done by dice. You get more dudes based on the spaces you occupy in some sort of reinforcement action. A player has different kinds of units and some control over which ones they recruit. They often have player specific powers and player specific units. They have a heavy emphasis on theme but not much on realism. They are very conducive to building narratives and sessions are usually described as a story and not as a series of mechanics. DoaM games usually have science fiction or fantasy themes, although World War II is also common. In early examples of the genre, the game usually continues until all other players are eliminated, but this is no longer the case.

In what follows, I’m going to go through the games I’ve played, starting with the ones that I’ve liked the least and moving on to the ones that I have liked the most.
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: Pyuredeadbrilliant [+] cool_mechanisms [+] [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 
1. Board Game: Castle Risk [Average Rating:5.46 Overall Rank:14682]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My first real DoaM game was Risk. My copy also came with Castle Risk on the other side. It had a map of Europe from the period prior to World War I. Castle Risk had its own set of cards that worked differently from regular Risk. Some of the cards gave you reinforcements, but some gave you bonuses in battle or the ability to move about freely. You also got a castle that was harder to attack and if your castle was captured you were out of the game.

Castle Risk is one of those games which I don’t think anyone ever bothered to play test. If you dedicated enough troops to capture an opponent’s castle, you would inevitably leave both your own castle and the other players castle vulnerable and so you would be eliminated. As such, everyone turtled and the game never ended. I suppose, in some ways it modeled World War I effectively, in that a concerted offensive was unbelievable stupid, but that did not make for a fun game. The only upside was that the map could easily be used as a replacement risk map with only a few modifications. While an unbalanced map, it was nowhere near as unbalanced as the original Risk. However, in my opinion, Castle Risk is broken.
16 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: Axis & Allies: Europe [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:1730]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have already looked at a game from one of the two great DoaM families; Risk. The other big family of DoaM games is the Axis and Allies family. I have played a lot of games from this family as well and this is the worst one that I’ve played. If you have any intention of playing this you might want to stop reading now, because it is possible to have a couple of satisfying games of this game until you figure out what the problem is.

All the Axis & Allies suffer from a fixed set up, which means that eventually an optimal strategy can be figured out for both attack and defense. With this game the optimal strategy for the Axis is to make a giant stack of units and drive it straight to Moscow. This suffers from being extremely boring and a guaranteed overwhelming success. Axis & Allies Europe suffers from the same problems as the rest of the series, but in this case it is worse. The strategy is so effective that the game verges on the edge of being broken. There has been updated version made of this game that I haven’t played.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Conquest of the Empire [Average Rating:6.28 Overall Rank:3076]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This was one of the Gamemaster series of games and was the weakest of the four DoaM games. (There was a fifth game, Broadsides and Boarding Parties which was not a DoaM game.) It was quite pretty and had lots of great things about it. One of the interesting things was that players shared a common pool of military units. The Military units belonged to you if they were in your territory or with your Caesar or one of your generals. But it was ruined by a terrible combat system. Large battles were won by having more catapults than your opponents. That meant because there was a common pool, there was a desperate race to get catapults and then you would do anything to somehow get a catapult. There was always an interesting game in here, but it was wrecked by this one rule. The problem was so bad, that I quickly gave up playing it.
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.58 Overall Rank:14511]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is the original Dudes on a Map game. It invented the genre. When it came out it was so innovative compared to the roll-and-move games that people had a hard time understanding basic concepts such as that your armies occupy a territory. I played an extraordinary amount of Risk and it does not get the respect it deserves. It is arguably the first Ameritrash game and incredibly innovative. Plain vanilla Risk is now outmoded. It takes way too long. The I-go-you-go turn structure leads to large amounts of downtime and certain geographic areas are better than others. Although, I have seen players based in every continent, even Asia, win. It is the grand-daddy of all DoaM games, which are sometimes called Risk style games as a result. Even though I cannot imagine playing it again, for me it was my gateway game and led directly to my uncontrollable board game addiction.
20 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Risk: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition [Average Rating:6.48 Overall Rank:1716]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This was a tie in to the Lord of the Rings movies. There was another edition which left of the bottom of the map that came out after the second movie. That version without Gondor or Mordor felt just wrong. The Trilogy edition does not suffer from that problem, but it is a generally uninspired game. I could never play it again, because I would be so conscious of War of the Rings better treatment that it would feel completely wrong.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1184]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
After Risk, from an innovation point of view Axis & Allies is without a doubt the most innovative DoaM game. I played a lot of this game as well. It introduced variable units to the genre and very strong theming. It was clearly an attempt to use some Risk concepts to make a light war game accessible to teenagers. I played a huge amount of Axis & Allies and quite a few non-gamers have played it. If you were a male of a certain age with any geeky tendencies at all you had probably played it.

It suffers from most of the problems of early DoaM games. It is too long and has too much downtime. As a simulation of World War II it is hopeless. Because of the fixed set up, there are clear best first moves that become obvious over time. The winning strategy involves, for the Axis, a Japanese tank drive through Russia and, for the Allies, a massive invasion of Scandinavia by the British and Americans. If everyone knows the best strategy there is a clear advantage for the Allies. You need to play the game with players who are comfortable with conceding when defeat is inevitable, because it can add two hours to the game if they are not.

However, it is the first game on this list that I would consider playing. I’ve played it two player in the last few years. I will only do it if I am the Axis and the opposing player takes the Allies. Then if they don’t know the main strategy, I will explain it to them. That means my back is up against the wall from the beginning and it forces me to innovate. But in general, I played a lot of this game in the 80s, just because my choices were so limited and it is hopelessly outmoded now.
25 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Axis & Allies: 1942 [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:1306]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I got this game out of pure nostalgia. I’m not sure that it is actually better than the original, but its set up is different, so I don’t feel I know it backwards and forwards. It adds to the main game a number of units, such as artillery and destroyers that were not in the original, but were introduced in variants. In general, you get a lot of plastic in this one for the price. However, to keep the cost down they left out the IPCs (money), so the game was shipped without a core component, which is unforgiveable. It’s not really a problem for gamers, because you can use money from other games or even change, but it showed a bit of contempt for the customers.

It suffers again from a fixed set up, and as far as I can tell the winning strategies are roughly the same. It is a bit of a missed opportunity because given that the game was revisited, it would have been better if the clunky mechanics had been addressed at the same time.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Risk: Godstorm [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:2344]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wanted to love this game. It is set in the ancient world and you can bring your personal deities on to the game board. In addition to that your dead soldiers go to the underworld to fight and possibly be reborn. That theming appeals to me deeply, but in the end it was brought down by its core risk mechanics. The underworld also tends to be a lot of fuss about nothing.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Buck Rogers: Battle for the 25th Century Game [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:2980]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I loved this game. It has a plethora of problems. The basic game appears to have been game tested, but the advanced game and the many suggested variants do not seem to have been game tested at all. In particular, in the advanced game, one of the leaders, Princess Ardala, has two powers both of which are much better than all the other leaders special powers. The game is set in the inner solar system, the planets all rotate around the Sun. You regularly have to pack your troopers onto transports and rocket about. It has a built in end, which was a novelty at the time. The game takes one Earth year.

Unfortunately, it is hopelessly unbalanced. The Earth Moon system is the place to be, and it is hard to win if you don’t start there. There is lots to love about the game though and as long as you don’t care about balance and winning too much, it is a fun ride, with lots of fun ideas, that tells a great story.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Risk 2210 A.D. [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1019]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is the best of the Risk variants that I have played. It is a lot like Godstorm. It is quite thematic and the map which is an elaborate version of the Risk map with sea territories added is quite fun. The cards are enjoyable. I would play this game, and there is nothing really wrong with it. However, the risk mechanic at the heart of it drags it down. In practice, I have hardly ever played it because discovering Risk 2210 coincided with my discovery of other better games and it is the end, at least for now, of the story of Risk in my gaming.
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Axis & Allies: Pacific [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:1597]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is an underappreciated game. It very much uses the Axis & Allies mechanics, but actually manages to have something to do with the actual war in the pacific. The game is less likely than most to descend into two big stacks facing off against each other. The mechanics of the game have a built in timer. The Japanese initially rapidly expand, but then must hold on long enough to make enough victory points until they are crushed by the giant American economy.

The game initially looks as if it favours the Allies, but as you get better at it, it becomes clear that it favours the Japanese. There are fixes available that balance it. It’s worth playing even now, at least as a two player game. There has been an update of it that I have not played.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Conquest of the Empire [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:1132]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a remake of the early Conquest of the Empire game. It is lavish and the board is huge. Critically it rips out the whole combat system and replaces it with one that works. It still is a bit clunky and old school. I have only played it a few times, not so much because it is bad, as because it takes such a long time it is a big commitment. If I’m going to spend that kind of time on a game, I simply won’t play this one because there are so many games I would rather play. However, in an ideal world, where I was a professional game player, this would get played from time to time. The game also includes a Euro game using most of the same components. I have never really been interested in that, so I’ve never played it.
17 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
13. Board Game: Axis & Allies: Guadalcanal [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:2331]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This game is almost unknown, which is a shame because it is actually quite good. It is a strictly two player game. It uses the Axis & Allies plastic pieces, but has thrown all the mechanics out the window. It isn’t really an Axis and Allies game. I had a hard time figuring it out, because I kept thinking that it was more like Axis and Allies than it actually is. It’s a reasonably decent simulation and tactically interesting. It is an unjustly neglected game. The people who would enjoy it, I don’t think found it because they were put off by the Axis & Allies label.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
14. Board Game: Fortress America [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1327]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This was another one in the Game Master series. It was a substantial improvement on the previous two games and still holds up. Recently Fantasy Flight brought out a reprint, which I haven’t played, but from what I’ve seen the little fiddles are all improvements. I played quite a bit of this game and it moves reliably to a nail biting climax. It is also a lesson that various world leaders could have used, that invasions that often start well can bog down in grinding wars of attrition. The I-go-you-go turn structure provides too much down time for a modern game if played multiplayer, but it is still a perfectly respectable two player game. After 20 years, I finally developed a strategy for the invaders that I don’t think can be beaten, but that is a lot of depth to a game for the development of that strategy to take two decades. It’s also possible that that strategy would not work with the new version, because it is a very finicky complicated strategy.

Overall it is a good, albeit not a great game and I am glad to see that it is back in print. It is also a good way of getting anti-American tendencies out of Canadians, in my experience. I haven't played the new version.
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
15. Board Game: Small World [Average Rating:7.33 Overall Rank:183] [Average Rating:7.33 Unranked]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Small World is a Euro game, albeit one with a large amount of Ameritrash DNA. A lot of people would object to me putting this in a list of DoaM games, but the variable powers, direct conflict and rise and fall of Empires is just a DoaM thing. I haven’t played enough of Small World. It is a game that my group always says we should play again, but somehow we never get to it. This is the first game that I think that most gamers would think is not a DoaM game, but I’m going to save my case that Euro area superiority games are really a new version of the DoaM genre for a later game.
21 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
16. Board Game: Memoir '44 [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:117] [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Most people would not count Memoir 44 as a DoaM game, but instead as a light war game. I actually agree with that assessment, but I am including it on this list because it shows that there has been an influence on War Games from DoaM games and that the influence does not run all way. No one with my background could fail to be reminded of Axis & Allies when placing all the little army pieces on the map and much of the mechanics, like special dice and strong theming with concessions to realism to build narratives are strongly reminiscent of the Ameritrash genre. Games like Smallworld and Memoir 44, show the increasing blurring and cross pollination across game genres and I think that that is a very good thing. I have only played Battlelore once, so I am reluctant to say anything definitive about it, but it is clearly moving ever closer to the DoaM genre.
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
17. Board Game: El Grande [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:54]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This game will be the most controversial on this list. Both hard core Ameritrashers and Euro lovers may be offended at the slight of my including it. El Grande is an excellent game and is considered a classic. It is one of my favorite Euro’s. Instead of units fighting, the goal is to have the most units in an area. Like all Dude’s on a Map games the geographic interrelationships are very important. To me it was a radical reinvention of the DoaM genre and I can see a direct influence of Risk in the game. It introduced this wonderful mechanic where it is no longer about having exclusive ownership of an area. Instead, it opened up a new area superiority mechanic where having the most Dudes in a space was important. The game has a huge amount of take-that for a Euro game. Aggressive and interactive, it opened up new possibilities in the DoaM genre. We’ve already seen one game that was influenced by it; Smallworld. There are going to be two more on this list.

It is the first game on this list that I am reliably very excited about playing, and from here on in, all the games on this list, I rate an 8 or higher.
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
18. Board Game: Nexus Ops [Average Rating:7.24 Overall Rank:333]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a great little game. I have the original version with the glow in the dark figures. It is a pure Dudes on a Map game. It checks all the boxes of a DoaM game that I mention above. It’s unusual in that the game runs quite short, about 45 minutes with players that know the game. It’s a neat design and gives an alternative to the epic games that dominate the genre. However, I find that I don’t want to play it that often. If I play it, I always enjoy it, but then I am good for six months to a year. But, I suspect that I will feel that way forever and it will never get old. It is just too light for me to play often.
37 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
19. Board Game: Ikusa [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:690]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is the last of the DoaM games in the Gamemaster series. At the time it was first released, it was known as Shogun. Later it became Samurai Swords and then rebranded Ikusa. I also got this one at the time it came out. It was by far the best of the games in the Gamemaster series. It had certain innovative characteristics, like hidden bidding for turn order as part of a hidden planning stage. It also had quite interesting combat. You have three armies to start that are led by your Daimyo who gains experience. Experience does not add combat bonuses, but increases the movement capabilities of your Daimyo, making them far more powerful.

It suffers from an I-go-you-go turn structure, and in the four and five player games there are only three good starting positions on the map. Players tend to get squeezed in other positions. It works remarkably well in its two player version, even though these rules feel tacked on, and I think that this is now where my primary interest in it would be. There are a lot of subtleties to the game as well. For example, I had been playing it for a decade when I suddenly realized that the way I had thought about Castle placement was all wrong. I have a lot of affection for this game, because it was the best game I owned for a long time. It is still worth playing today.

Has a ninja!
24 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
20. Board Game: Mission: Red Planet [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:724]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mission Red Planet is another game that uses El Grande’s area control mechanic. It combines it with role selection. In this game you are sending your astronauts off to Mars. There are a large number of ways to interfere with and even directly destroy your opponent‘s dudes. It combines Euro mechanics with an Ameritrash sensibility. It never quite found its audience and now languishes in obscurity, but I have been very successful with introducing new players to it and I have never had a bad game.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
21. Board Game: Titan [Average Rating:6.95 Overall Rank:792]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Titan is one of the first Ameritrash games. It is another game that is at the limits of the DoaM genre. There is a central board and your dudes are in stacks with their composition hidden. When two stacks meet up you go to a battle board. It was an early example of the genre and Titan is not very much like any other game.

I should not like Titan as much as I do. A game of it lasts from 1 to 16 hours and there is no way to tell beforehand how long it will go. With more than two players the downtime is huge, because battles take a considerable time to resolve, so everyone should bring a book. The main board and recruiting rules are highly abstract, but then the battle rules are an attempt at realism and very fiddly. They are full of exceptions to the exceptions. There are for instance, detailed rules for volcano spaces in battles, even though there is only one volcano space on one battlemap and there are only three spaces on the board that require the use of the battlemap.

Having said all that, Titan is a wonderful, but dreadfully impractical game. It helped define certain features of Dudes on a Map games and you can see clearly the evolution of the genre out of hex and counter war games here. I came to Titan with the Valley Games reprint and the game does not have to be enjoyed on the basis of nostalgia alone.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
22. Board Game: Clash of Cultures [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:204]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This is a civilization game, but also a DoaM game. I thought about including Sid Meier’s Civilization on this list, but rejected it, for the simple reason that there aren’t really any Dude’s on a Map. Instead your Dude’s are in your hand of cards and there is just a marker showing where your army is. This game you do put down your Dudes. Building up technology, settling and developing your cities are all very important, but the little plastic miniatures that get moved around are very important too. Even if there is no combat, there is always the threat of combat and it will pretty much always be in someone’s best interests to build Dudes and move them around, if only to cause people to waste actions in response.

Civilization games are interesting because they overlap with DoaM games. I think that Twilight Imperium 3 is a civilization game because it is possible to win without firing a shot. I turn out to be quite good with using my Dudes in this game, so that aspect is almost always in play and I’m pretty good at messing up other players empires. That aspect is pure DoaM.

I’ve only gotten to play this game a few times, but it has turned out to be just what I wanted: a good fast, light Civilization game, which is very thematic and with multiple paths to victory. The only beef I have with it is that the civilizations are generic, but it is my understanding that this will be fixed by the upcoming expansion.
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
23. Board Game: Chaos in the Old World [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:96]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chaos in the Old World is the game that proves that El Grande style Area Control is Dude’s on a Map. This game is the Ameritrash version of El Grande. It shows that having dudes from multiple players in an area does not mean that they are somehow not Dude’s on a Map. Here your Dude’s fight and can mess each other up through card play. The whole experience is incredibly finely crafted. The balance between the factions is meticulous. It suffers only from the problem that with inexperience players Khorne will win, because it is really easy to figure out how ro advance Khorne’s dial and the other basic strategies are more subtle.
33 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
24. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:2242]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I used to play board games from time to time, but in the 1990s I stumbled into a homemade variant of Risk that some friends I knew had called Nuclear Risk. Shortly after, I found some other friends with a slightly different version. They were clearly both derived from a common ancestor, and so we combined them. One day, someone as a Joke said that we should add Godzilla to the game and so we made a Godzilla card. That led to free experimentation and to cards that allowed virtually anything from real warfare or pulpy science fiction. In the end it became a bloated baroque monster with a deck of a thousand cards. Despite violating all the rules of modern game design, it was immensely fun to play and was the only board game that I played for a decade. I must have played it at least a hundred times. It was a manifestation of my love of the DoaM genre. There is something about the DoaM genre that spawns people to come up with their own home versions. It was replaced when I bought on a whim what turned out to be my gateway game into board gaming as a full blown hobby. I miss its chaotic destructiveness.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
25. Board Game: A Game of Thrones (first edition) [Average Rating:7.27 Overall Rank:312]
Julian Meynell
Canada
Toronto
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Game of Thrones is an excellent game. When I first played it, I didn’t know what Game of Thrones was but it turns out to be not just a great game, but something that really invokes the feel of the novels. The emphasis is on deal making and alliances, with a fair amount of back-stabbing and shifting allegiances. That is all as it should be. It is probably the best DoaM I have played in the way the metagame is integrated into the mechanics. I find some of the rules a little fiddly, like the Wildlings, in what is otherwise quite an elegant game. At least in Canada, it is quite widely available because of the popularity of the books and television show. I have only played first edition.
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.